Key highlights from the just released JPM results:
- JPMorgan 2Q adj. EPS $1.27 vs est. $1.21; rev. $26.78b vs est. $24.91b
- CEO Jamie Dimon sees card losses improving next quarter, sees mortgage taking some time to resolve issues, possible we will incur additional costs along the way
- 2Q reserves $29.1b, release of $1.3b vs release of $2.6b in 1Q, coverage ratio 3.83% vs. 4.1% in 1Q
- I-banking: rev. $7.31b, down 11% Q/q, up 16% Y/y
- Fixed inc/equity mkt rev. $5.5b, down 16.7% Q/q, up 19.6% Y/y
- I-banking fees $1.9b, up 37% Y/y
- Hired more than 10,000 employees year-to-date
Gold has risen to new record nominal highs at $1,594.45 per ounce and silver has surged another 3% to over $39 per ounce after yesterday’s 6% rise. Today’s London AM Fix gold fix was $1,592.50 £987.54 and €1,119.04 – all of which are new record nominal highs. European stock markets are lower after Asian equity markets were mixed overnight with the Nikkei falling 0.27%. European debt markets are under pressure this morning with Spanish and Italian bond yields rising towards 6% again. Ireland’s 10 year and 2 year yields spiked to new record highs at 14.13% and 20.9% prior to sharp falls which had the hallmarks of sovereign intervention - possibly the ECB or China. The U.S. had its Aaa bond rating placed on review for possible downgrade by Moody’s which cited the “rising possibility” that the debt limit won’t be raised on a timely basis. U.S. treasuries have also been sold this morning. Concerns that QE3 and the printing and electronic creation of hundreds of billions of dollars and Obama’s walkout from debt ceiling negotiations is not helping dollar and bond market jitters and has led to the record dollar gold price.
While it is unclear if the ECB intervened in the second Italian bond auction of the week (we will know better over the weekend when the ECB provides the weekly change in its bond purchasing program), the much anticipated issuance of 5 and 15 year bonds is now in the rear view mirror. As Reuters says, "Italy sold almost 3 billion euros of medium- and long-term government bonds on Thursday in a sale which analysts said went well although the Treasury had to pay the highest premium on record to sell 15-year paper. The gross yield on the 5-year BTP jumped to 4.93 percent, the highest yield in auction since June 2008 and compared with 3.90 percent in the last auction a month ago. The new 15-year benchmark drew bids 1.49 times the amount offered and a gross yield of 5.90 percent, the highest on record. The auctions were seen as a key test of market appetite for the country's debt after it got sucked into the debt crisis, sending its benchmark 10-year yields briefly above 6 percent on Tuesday for the first time since the euro's launch in 1999." The prior 5 and 15 year bonds priced at 3.90% and 5.34% respectively, and 1.28 and 1.33 for the Bid To Cover. Yet with the 15 Year trading at 5.99% just prior to the auction, it does seem that there was a positive surprise. We will bring you any stories of ECB or Chinese intervention as we see them.
BOOM: "The review of the US government's bond rating is prompted by the possibility that the debt limit will not be raised in time to prevent a missed payment of interest or principal on outstanding bonds and notes. As such, there is a small but rising risk of a short-lived default. Moody's considers the probability of a default on interest payments to be low but no longer to be de minimis. An actual default, regardless of duration, would fundamentally alter Moody's assessment of the timeliness of future payments, and a Aaa rating would likely no longer be appropriate. However, because this type of default is expected to be short-lived, and the expected loss to holders of Treasury bonds would be minimal or non-existent, the rating would most likely be downgraded to somewhere in the Aa range."
Update: OBAMA: "THIS MAY BRING MY PRESIDENCY DOWN BUT I WILL NOT YIELD ON THIS" -- REPUBLICAN AIDE; Perhaps Obama may want to put the country ahead of his own interests this one time...
So far the Moody's threat is having precisely zero impact on the debt ceiling farce, with just 8 days left until July 22. But the latest development is certain to jar both S&P and Fitch, not to mention Dagong, out of hibernation. Reuters reports that President Barack Obama abruptly ended a tense budget meeting on Wednesday with Republican leaders by walking out of the room, a Republican aide familiar with the talks said. The aide said the session, the fourth in a row,
was the most tense of the week as House of Representatives Speaker John
Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, dismissed spending cuts offered
by the White House as "gimmicks and accounting tricks." Either Congress has become the best orchestrated reality TV show in history or, and this is a big or, the market should really consider panicking soon.
Recently I compared the 2007 equity topping pattern to that of the current market. The premise being today as in 2007 the US economy is quite possibly entering economic recession. Long gone are the days of equity markets being forward looking as proven in 2007 when they peaked just two months before contraction began. A similar pattern is also playing out in the 10 year treasury. I suspect a topping market is more a function of psychology and less technicals or macro data. The money making bull is slowly dying while the bears are eager for their turn to shine. The result of this clash of views and buying power is dictated more by emotional, whipsawing action where convictions in one's position and volatile price action make coexistence difficult if not impossible.
You were involved with Harry Browne during the last great inflation in
the U.S. How does the increase in the money supply that kicked off in
2007-2008 compare in terms of scale to what went on leading up to the
inflation in the ‘70s?
Terry Coxon: The
comparison is pretty muddled. In terms of the M1 money supply – the
total of checkable deposits and hand-to-hand currency – we haven’t yet
gotten near the persistently high growth rate that occurred in the
1970s. But the growth in the monetary base has been far more rapid than
what happened in the 1970s. There is some time delay between growth in
the monetary base and growth in M1, but to make the picture really
cloudy, I'm afraid the comparison turns out not to be very useful.
Unlike in the 1970s, the Federal Reserve is now paying interest to banks
on their reserves.
RANsquawk Market Wrap Up - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 13/07/11
The Debt Ceiling Reality Show is winding down to its dramatic conclusion on August 2. I think Fox should capitalize on the drama by gathering the American Idol judges to vote on the best performance by a political hack. We can have Ryan Seacrest announce on August 1 at 11:55 pm that the winner is – THE WALL STREET MONIED INTERESTS. The latest round of kabuki theatre performed by the corrupt lying thieves in Washington DC is being played out every night on the MSM. The volume of misinformation, lies, exaggerations, posturing, and propaganda is staggering. These vile excuses for leaders know that 80% of the American population wouldn’t know the difference between a debt ceiling and a drop ceiling. They use this ignorance to their advantage, as Obama warns that old people won’t get their social security checks and government drones won’t be paid.
Barney Frank, fresh from being caught on live TV picking his nose during Bernanke's Humphrey Hawkins presentation, had a decidedly more sour outlook on the prospects for the debt ceiling. Spoiler alert: in tried and true fashion, the drama king blamed it all on the stupidity and inexperience of republicans. Asked when there is a chance the US will be put into default: "Yes. I take the freshmen republicans and people like Michelle Bachmann
at their word. I don't think they're kidding. I think they fundamentally
misread this situation as Bernanke, a Bush appointee after all, made
clear today. I think there are people that frankly have an unreal view
of the world. They believe that this is somehow a fake and that you can
push a button and make a lot of these debts go away. I believe there are
a substantial number of Republicans who are opposed to a huge debt and a
further group of Republicans who understand why it's important to raise
the debt limit, but are afraid of losing a primary to someone." Recapping Frank's view: why deal with a problem under my tenure, when very soon there will be a congressman who will replace me and he, or more likely she, can deal with the sordid mess I created. And this is not even counting the trillions in GSE off-the-books debt of which Frank was one of the key people responsible for letting it be the catalyst that blew up the credit bubble when Fannie and Freddie were nationalized just under 3 years ago.
When we observed the 1 month Bill auction yesterday which priced at a 6 week high of 0.002% we speculated, incorrectly, that the market may be starting to get concerned about the whole debt ceiling thing (which has 8 days until the legislative D-Day of July 22), especially following the John Boehner quote just carried by AP that "there is no guarantee of a debt limit raise if no deal by August 2." And yes, the deadline by which Congress has to pass this law is 10 days prior. But anyway: as of minutes ago, this 4 week bill which saw some "weakness" yesterday is back to where it was a week ago: -0.005%. Translation: Uncle Sam will gladly take your money to take your money.
If there is one thing in the past year that has received more ridicule than the Fed's horrendous monetary policy it is the IEA unprecedented decision to release 60 million in crude from the global strategic petroleum reserve. One needs to take a simple look at the price of crude just today to see what really is driving the prices in the energy complex. But that does not prevent the IEA from pursuing an obstinate insistence that its decision was justified, and defending the fact that it was nothing more than a puppet in the administration's political plot. From Dow Jones: "The International Energy Agency Wednesday rebutted criticism of its decision to release 60 million barrels of emergency oil stocks, saying the move is having the intended effect. The IEA, which represents major energy consuming countries, hit back at some analysts' "blinkered focus" on the price of oil, which has rebounded above its level prior to the stock release. More important is that the market is now more flexible and the price of light sweet crude, relative to heavier grades, has fallen after increasing sharply following the outbreak of the Libyan civil war, it said." Although the confirmation that not only the Fed redefines Einstein's definition of insanity is this: "The agency also suggested an additional supply release was possible." Great: we are confident JPM just can't wait to lock in another 10% risk free arb by buying up Light Sweet at $107 at the next SPR auction and selling it, with a 3-6 month delay of course, in the open market at $120+.